I gather I have been neglectful of MasterB’s public.
I hope that feels better.
I’ve been neglectful about quite a few other things too. The inbox for my email account has an alarming number of unread messages. I have been mainly absent from twitter too. That does not mean, however, that I have been lying on the sofa watching black and white movies on afternoon television while the rain drizzled down outside.
No indeedy. I have been out in that drizzle. Pacing the streets of London; weighing the merits of various compact cameras and narrowing them down to a shortlist of two; indulging my new habit of feeding Polo mints to police horses. Try it. It improves your day. A word of warning though. You must be even handed. If there are two police horses it must be a mint each. Otherwise, and I quote a member of the Met, “All hell will break loose.” I cannot help feeling this is a slight flaw in the efficiency of horses in the enforcement of law and order. Just don’t tell the anarchists.
I have also been to Fracture Clinic. It started well when I was not sent off for an x-ray. Instead I waited with the other fractured folk while the small team of relentlessly cheerful and hardworking staff worked through the lists. Watching the receptionist dealing with a man who had not made an appointment but somehow expected to be seen, reminded me that the patient is not always the one needing sympathy.
Anyway, break out the champagne and get this: the pin that worried them in case it was nudging the bone is innocent. So no need for more surgery. Yippee.
I had a question for the consultant, who once again pointed out what a bad break it was and looked admiringly at the x-rays on file.
What, I wanted to know, would happen if I broke my wrist again. Still high on my lovely x-rays, the consultant said, “Don’t!” and smiled as though he had just made a joke. I looked at him sternly. This is a serious question, I said. He looked contrite. If I fall from my bike again, I imagine that I shall again put my arm out to save myself. What might the consequences be?
“With that amount of metal inside it, your wrist is not going to break in the same place. The problem would be if you broke your arm in another place.”
So basically, I got permission to get on my bike again. As I had been wondering seriously about putting away my cycle clips, and cancelling my application to join the CTC, tearing out the page in my notebook where I have made notes about the cost and colours of various cycle helmets, this was like one of those films where they suddenly do that scratchy bit, and the sad moralistic ending is transformed into one where people skip over impossibly green fields under radiant blue skies while smiling bunny rabbits watch benignly from behind the daisies, and birds trill musically from majestic oaks.
I walked around the hospital with a happy smile on my face. Just as well, as I was in search of the department from which I could apply for a CD of my x-rays. Watch out for it, I am expecting it to go viral. I was sent to three very helpful departments with smiley staff who directed me elsewhere. I was starting to feel I was involved in some strange game to which I did not know the rules, like the one played by teachers who would send pupils off to ask for a long weight from the metalwork department. The office of Governance and Information became my goal. However, they had moved last week and no one was quite sure where they had gone. I reached a corridor where they were rumoured to be. No sign. I stopped a member of staff, who looked around as perplexed as I was. She took me into her department. The staff there, strangely underworked considering how most of the NHS is at full stretch, leapt to the challenge. Or rather two of them did. One scanning a computer screen, the other checking out an internal phone book. The third, who seemed to think I was on my way to a job interview, made defensively depressed comments about the NHS. I love the NHS, I said. She hastened to tell me she did too. The other two redoubled their efforts. One came with me, and after a further five minutes we found the vanished office. We parted with smiles and promises to keep in touch. Actually I made that last bit up. But I did feel I had made a new friend. Then I turned to tell the person in the office why I was there. No smiling. Shocked that I had trespassed uninvited into this sanctum she directed me to a windowless room and gave me a form to complete. As my photo ID did not include my date of birth, I have to send them a copy of my driving licence or my passport, but it was tortuous conversation where she seemed programmed to avoid answering questions. It wasn’t hard to see why she and her co-workers were tucked away from the public. I certainly shan’t be back there headhunting helpful staff when I set up my business.